Here are 6 things you can do to protect your home and save money:
1. Homeowners Insurance
Home insurance, also known as homeowners insurance, is a type of property & casualty insurance for homeowners. Traditional coverage encompasses one or more of the following: damage to your home, damage to belongings, liability protection, and temporary living expenses. It kicks in when your home suffers damage from one of the 16 ‘perils’ of home insurance, e.g. theft, vandalism, fire or lightning, explosion.
Home insurance providers may offer additional products and services, such as:
- Extra coverage for valuables, e.g. jewelry, musical instruments, electronics.
- Home office coverage.
- Coverage for rebuilding or reconstruction (for cases where cost of rebuilding is higher than expected).
- Green rebuild coverage.
- Third-party coverage for house cleaners, babysitters, and other service providers who work in the home.
- Full coverage for an item’s current value, not its future depreciated value.
- Coverage for increased costs due to local laws and regulations.
Why get home insurance: To protect you from the astronomical costs of rebuilding or repairing out of your own pocket.
2. Home Warranty
Home insurance is important, but it won’t cover repairs to systems within your house such as an A/C system or hot water heater that break down or fail. This is where top home warranty companies come in. Home warranty covers repairs and replacements of your home’s HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), plumbing, and electrical systems when they give out.
A home warranty is basically a service contract. In exchange for an annual fee of a few hundred dollars, it covers most of your home’s major appliances and systems. In the event that a major appliance or system requires repairs or needs to be replaced, you're only responsible for a small service fee, which for most companies is at about the $60 mark. Different companies offer varying coverage, so be sure to read the fine print. The rest of the cost of the repair or replacement is covered by the home warranty company.
Why get a home warranty: Makes it more affordable and more predictable to maintain your home.
3. Give Your House an Annual Physical
Home insurance and home warranty are kind of like medical insurance in that they’re there to protect you from going broke when you actually need something (your home, your body) repaired. We can reduce the chance of medical problems by eating well, staying fit, and having an annual physical. Likewise, giving your home an annual or twice-annual physical can help prevent serious issues.
This Old House has a very detailed home physical checklist. It recommends conducting a home physical each fall. It divides its checklist into the following categories: electrical, exterior, plumbing (including bathrooms and laundry), heating, interior, doors and windows, attic, garage, and kitchen.
Why do an annual physical: It helps you detect conceivable problems before they occur.
4. Get a Home Security System
There are around 2.5 million home burglaries reported every year in the United States, equivalent to around one every 13 seconds. Whether you are a homeowner or just renting, a reliable home security system is a must-have if you care about keeping your home, your belongings, and your family protected.
There are many types of home security, the basic rule being: the greater the level of security, the more expensive it is. The best home security systems involve a combination of one or more manned patrols, video surveillance, wireless cameras, and motion sensors. We’ve even seen home security systems that include remotely controlled lights and speakers so that a remote surveillance team can warn of would-be intruders.
Why get a home security system: There is no better defense against intruders and potential intruders.
5. Do Some DIY Home Security
A home security system can protect your home from burglars, but there are still a few things you can do yourself to give your property an added level of protection. Top10.com offers a list of DIY home security hacks that you can easily do to help deter burglars from approaching your property.
For example, plant thorny bushes under windows so burglars have nowhere to hide and keep the bushes neat and trimmed to give the impression you’re at home. Think carefully about who you let into your home and who you notify of your movements. And never post vacation plans on social media. (Just wait to share the experience after you return home).
Why opt for DIY home security: It offers an extra layer of protection from burglars.
6. Get a Smart Home Device
‘Smart’ technology is a kind-of catch-all term for tech products that talk back to us (and, increasingly, for tech products that talk to each other). Smart home devices let you do a bunch of different things, each serving the same purposes: to protect your home and reduce the cost of home ownership.
A smart home device will help you use electricity more efficiently, lowering your electricity bills. Another important thing smart home devices do is they let you control your locks and lighting from afar, helping to secure your home. Smart home devices are becoming more sophisticated, and soon they will enable us to do things we can’t even imagine now.
Why get a smart home device: It’s a cool and effective way to lower your bills and protect your home.
There you have it: 6 ways to protect your home on Home Warranty Day. Some of these steps are proactive, in that they prevent accidents or burglaries from happening. Others are reactive, in that they cover the expenses of having an accident or burglary. When used together, these 6 steps provide all-round home security and protection.